Edem Emphraim and Dennis Fuller lived in Hamburg, near Germany but met
while at school in London. They joined a roller-skating pop combo called
Roxy Rollers, who released a single in 1979, "I Need A Holiday".
But real success only beckoned
when they formed The London Boys in 1988, a vehicle engineered by musical
However, debut single "I'm Gonna Give My Heart" tankety-tanked, and
success was not immediate.
"The Twelve Commandments Of Dance" album
The duos breakthrough single was
"Requiem", a storming Euro-dance disco number. In the video, Dennis and
Edem did somersaults and dressed in leather, making for a not completely
The song reached No 4 on the UK Charts in April
1989, followed by its similarly styled fellow, "London Nights" which did
even better, peaking at Number 2. The "Twelve Commandments of Dance" album
likewise just missed the top of the album charts. The London Boys had
A certain Pete Waterman, friends with manager
This was actually an album cover photo in some countries!
The group sadly had a limited
lifespan, and a remix of earlier single "Harlem Desire" missed the Top 10,
followed by "My Love" and "Chapel of Love" which dived out the charts.
Further albums, "Sweet Soul Music" (1991) and "Love 4 Unity" (1993) failed
to chart, but demonstrated a softer, more reggae-tinged flavour.
The New London Boys
In 1995, Dennis and Edem
relaunched themselves as "The New London Boys" and made "Hallelujah Hits",
a fusion of Eurodance music and religious songs. And featuring the track
"Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho".
But on January 21 1996, tragedy
struck. The New London Boys tour bus was travelling through the Austrian
Alps when it collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle driven by a drunken
Swiss man. Dennis, Edem and Edem's wife were all killed in the crash.
Not much. Copies of "The Twelve
Commandments Of Dance" are reasonably easy to come by on Ebay, and "Sweet
Soul Music" can be imported from Japan. But there's no "Best Of" for this
most likeable of acts.
I haven't got a clue who Dennis and Edem really were. They are just a
distant memory; a very obscure pop group who glimmered brightly yet
briefly, and then were forgotten. Reading about their deaths a few years
ago coincided with a time when "Requiem" and "London Nights" were
rediscovered. But I'll tell you something - sticking those tracks on
today, you are struck by the sheer energy and joy in the pounding, dark
Eurodisco beat, and the joyful grins on the faces of Dennis and Edem as
they somersault around in their camp leather outfits. And you think that
they must have had a lot of fun being pop stars. And then you smile too.
That's not a bad legacy to leave behind.
But with honours.
RIP The London Boys